Toronto (36-36) at Atlanta (40-33)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Jun 20, 2011
  • TV: RSN, FSS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Victories at home have been hard to come by for the Atlanta Braves of late.

The Toronto Blue Jays hope for better results than the last time they visited Turner Field.

Looking to win consecutive home games for the first time in three weeks, the Braves face the Blue Jays on Monday night.

Freddie Freeman(notes) had three hits with an RBI as Atlanta (40-33) avoided being swept by Texas with a 4-2 win Sunday. The Braves are 2-4 on a nine-game homestand, and have dropped six of nine at Turner Field.

“You’ve got to keep plugging away,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Braves’ official website.

Atlanta has not won back-to-back home games since May 28-29, but did sweep the Blue Jays when they last visited Turner Field in 2009.

A right abductor strain kept Braves star Chipper Jones(notes) out of the Rangers’ series, but he hopes to return for this set.

“We’ve made progress the last three days. I don’t want to throw it all out the window,” said Jones, who has hit just .188 versus Toronto.

Freeman is batting .348 during interleague play this season.

After Jair Jurrjens(notes) allowed one run and recorded his ninth win Sunday, Tim Hudson(notes) (5-6, 4.08 ERA) looks to give the Braves a solid outing in the opener.

Hudson is 1-4 with a 5.80 ERA his last 11 starts, but has allowed two earned runs in each of his last two. The right-hander left after four innings because of a rain delay in a 4-0 defeat to the New York Mets on Wednesday.

“I feel like I’m throwing the ball better than the results,” Hudson said. “It’s just the way things are going right now.”

Hudson is 10-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts against the Blue Jays (36-36), but has not faced them since June 28, 2008, when he allowed six runs in five innings of a 9-5 loss in Toronto.

Jose Bautista(notes) is 3 for 8 with two doubles against Hudson, and batting .348 with two homers and six RBIs during interleague play in 2011.

Though Bautista ranks among the major league leaders with 21 home runs, he’s homered once in his last 70 at-bats. He had one of Toronto’s five hits in a 2-1 loss at Cincinnati on Sunday.

Former Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar(notes) was 1 for 4 hours after he agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract extension with the Blue Jays. Drafted by the Braves in 2005, Escobar was traded to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez(notes) in July.

Escobar, batting .280 with eight homers and 26 RBIs this season, is excited to return to Atlanta.

“I had a lot of fun times for four years and you always feel like you’re going to go back to that city as the home club or the visiting club,” he told the Blue Jays’ official website.

Facing the Braves for the first time, Ricky Romero(notes) (6-6, 3.01) tries to build on his last outing when he allowed a run, three hits and matched a career high with 12 strikeouts over eight innings of a 4-1 win over Baltimore on Wednesday.

“He had all three (pitches) working,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s why he’s thought of so well.”

The left-hander has fared well against NL opponents, going 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA in six interleague starts.

Toronto is 14-10 against Atlanta, and 6-6 at Turner Field.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Romero Tor vs. T. Hudson SF
15-11 Record 16-10
2.92 ERA 3.22
178 K 158
80 BB 56
1.14 WHIP 1.14


Monday, Jun 20